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University of Lugano receives international IBM Shared University Research award

IBM supports top research with powerful IBM computer system

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Lugano and Rüschlikon, Switzerland, 22 October 2010—Today IBM announced a Shared University Research (SUR) award, in the form of a modern high-end server, to Professor Dr. Walter Binder of the University of Lugano. The powerful new computer, an IBM Power 755, will be used to investigate future workload-optimized computer systems as part of a three-year research collaboration with IBM Research – Zurich.

The award ceremony took place today at the University of Lugano. In his speech, Prof. Dr. Piero Martinoli, President of the university, emphasized the importance of collaboration between academia and industrial research: “This teamwork is game changing,” states Martinoli. “It is increasingly important, pushes the boundaries of science and is beneficial for society, even in the difficult years of economic uncertainty. We are glad to collaborate with one of the most important research organizations in the world.”

With its SUR award and the collaboration with the University of Lugano, IBM contributes to the investigation of future multicore computer systems that are holistically optimized in terms of performance and energy efficiency – from the basic processor to the application software – for specific applications, such as data analytics, that are rapidly gaining in importance for business.

The computer of tomorrow: From jack-of-all-trades to efficient and focused specialist

Every business process has different requirements in terms of information technology (IT). The needs of the individual processes or applications determine how the workloads are defined. For transactions, for example, powerful IT systems with extremely short response times are needed, whereas archiving of enterprise data needs large and efficient storage systems.

The development of so-called workload-optimized systems is an important emerging trend in IT. “Virtualization on all levels and the transition to cloud computing models, in which companies obtain the IT services needed in a flexible manner from a cloud provider rather than build up their own IT infrastructure, offers great potential for holistic optimization of vital applications,” explains Dr. Matthias Kaiserswerth, Director of IBM Research – Zurich. “With scalable and efficient end-to-end solutions, companies are able to increase their productivity while saving time and costs.”

Hardware and software optimization go hand in hand

The research collaboration will mainly focus on novel, trend-setting and highly innovative applications, including data analytics, web 2.0 and cluster applications and applications in virtualized environment.  In the three-year project POEM (Performance of Emerging Workloads on Multicores), the scientists will use comprehensive performance analyses and simulations to gain insight into the complex, application-specific dependencies in the entire stack – from application to runtime environment and hardware – and identify potential bottlenecks. Based on these investigations, the researchers will develop a methodology for efficient and dynamic performance analyses. Ultimately, the project is expected to yield important insights and tools to advance the co-design of future computer systems and software applications that are optimally aligned.  

Promoting top IT research

The IBM Shared University Research (SUR) Award is a worldwide award program designed to promote research in areas of mutual value and interest to IBM and universities. The program targets a wide variety of areas, ranging from life sciences, high-performance computing and energy technology, to digital data protection. The collaboration in an area of significant interest to the university and IBM is expected to foster both knowledge transfer and IT innovation. More information about IBM’s university programs is available at www.ibm.com/press/university.

Press contact

Nicole Strachowski
Media Relations
IBM Research - Zurich
Tel +41 44 724 84 45

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